Colon Cancer Prevention May Be As Simple As Sticking To Your Diabetes Treatment Plan!

by Cindy

Colon Cancer Prevention & Diabetes Treatment

Colon cancer is the second deadiest cancer in the United States.  According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology diabetic patients have a 38% higher risk of developing colon cancer than the average person.  Diabetics are already at significantly elevated risk for numerous health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and more. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that having diabetes may actually lower your risk of a serious health problem?  The good news is that many patients with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a reduction in their risk for developing colon cancer simply because of one of the medications that they take!  That medication is metformin.

Metformin is the first line therapy for type 2 diabetes.  This medication is used to improve insulin resistance and to prevent the body from releasing too much stored sugars outside of meal times.  This medication is prescribed to almost all type 2 diabetic patients at some point because it is effective, inexpensive and the scientific evidence strongly supports the use of this medication as the first choice in treatint type 2 diabetes.

Colon Cancer Prevention With Metformin

A 2011 study published in the journal Diabetes Care  examined the relationship between colon cancer prevention and metformin.  This study gathered information from all prior studies to summarize the data and they concluded that the scientific research strongly suggests that patients who take metformin are protected against colon cancer.

Numerous publications have shown that metformin has been linked to fewer cases of colon cancer in type 2 diabetic patients.  An examination of medical literature and studies conducted in laboratory animals support the theory that this popular medication has cancer fighting properties and demonstrate that patients taking Metformin tend to have fewer cases of cancer.  The reason for this reduction in cancer risk remains unclear.  Current theories hypothesize that:

  • Metformin may inhibit cancer growth by inhibiting insulin-like growth factors (IFG).
  • Metformin may activate genes that protect the body against cancer.
  • Metformin may prevent colon cancer by suppressing genes that produce cancer cells.
  • Metformin may stop the growth of abnormal cells within the body.

This is exciting news for patients who take metformin.  Diabetes increases the risk for cancer and diabetics with cancer tend to have less favorable outcomes.  If simply choosing this inexpensive medication can reduce this risk for cancer, it is certainly worth considering using metformin to treat type 2 diabetes and reduce cancer risk.  What is most exciting is that the benefits of metformin therapy may not be exclusive to colon cancer.  In fact, studies also have examined the relationship between this medication and breast cancer risk and have found encouraging results.

At this time more research is underway to fully understand how this medication works in colon cancer prevention.  Although there is not enough evidence to recommend using metformin only to reduc cancer risk, there is plenty of evidence supporting its use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.  All patients with this condition should consider this substance if medical therapy is indicated for the treatment of their disorder.  Not only will you benefit from lower blood sugar, improve a1c and fewer diabetic complications, you may also benefit from a reduced cancer risk!

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